Nationwide referee shortage felt in Wisconsin

By  | 

WISCONSIN, (WMTV)--- Youth sports leagues around the country are all facing a similar need. It's not a lack of players or venues to play, but a growing shortage of referees willing to officiate the games. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, only two of every 10 officials return for their third year of officiating.

Kent Holmquist, the President of the Southern Wisconsin Officials Association says his organization has seen a slow decline in officials. He says they make outreach efforts to recruit young athletes to participate.

"We have outreach with coaches and athletic directors and whenever we do a scrimmage or if we're around kids we we tell them what we do." Holmquist said.

Factors contributing to the shortage include parents' and spectators' attitude toward referees.

"They don't realize how hard we work at it," Holmquist said. "Plus I'm human. I'm a very flawed official. If they really want to make an impact, they should just grab a whistle and come and join us because we're looking for people. Women can do it to"